The Covid-19 pandemic served as a kick-starting catalyst for healthcare practices traditionally hesitant about adopting new technologies.  From telehealth consultations to contactless appointment check-ins, tech-based solutions have offered these practices the opportunity to provide a safer environment for their patients during the pandemic. These innovations have not only made medical check-ups safer, but they’ve also helped modernize and improve the patient journey. As an added bonus, they’ve also automated many archaic administrative functions as well. Ultimately, adopting new technologies offered these practices genuine savings – in terms of both time and money.

Here are the 5 primary ways technology has transformed medical practices nationwide.

  1. Streamlining the waiting room process.
    New, contactless, patient-intake platforms allow patients to pre-register their standard admissions details – such as their recent medical histories, current symptoms, and insurance information – straight from their mobile devices. This pre-appointment registration greatly reduces or, in many cases, eliminates waiting-room times, significantly limiting the chance of potential virus transmission. These platforms are customizable for each healthcare practice so that all patient intake information is presented on a simple-to-navigate, branded, mobile interface.
  2. Automating administrative tasks
    Having immediate access to patient data, centrally located, in the correct format, readily available for timely response, has been especially useful during health emergencies like the current pandemic. That’s why the use of EHRs (Electronic Health Records) has become the “new normal” for many healthcare facilities. Digitized medical records make it easier to share information with colleagues and collaborate with other labs and specialists, leading to innumerable improvements in both diagnosis, treatment, and general care for the patient, overall.
  3. Telehealth
    Telehealth has made it possible to consult with a doctor or specialist through an online video-conferencing platform rather than an in-person visit.  It’s been such an invaluable tool during this pandemic that its adoption by healthcare agencies has been almost universal. Patients have easily adapted to online visits, so we expect the use of a video interface to continue – even after the Covid-19 crisis abates.
  4. 3D Printing collaborations
    In the beginning of the pandemic, healthcare systems faced worldwide shortages of supplies and essential protective equipment. 3D printing became a life-saving workhorse when it came to supplying PPE, makeshift ventilators, and various other medical devices that helped doctors and their support teams operate in the face of inventory shortfalls. This innovative, new, means of production allowed makeshift equipment to be used as large-scale medical instrument companies ramped up their own production to keep up with crippling demand.
  5. Appointment reminder notifications
    With many patients putting off their office visits during the pandemic, receiving regular reminders from practitioners was a vital way to keep healthcare appointments top of mind. In a pandemic, it’s essential not to miss a visit or accidentally go to an appointment on the wrong day/time. With vaccine rollout, these reminders will be exceptionally important for both initial and follow up inoculations. Emerging technology has helped develop a text-message hotlink (no need to download a separate application) to help patients receive these reminders.

In the end, the pandemic helped accelerate the adoption of these new technologies by a medical establishment that’s traditionally been slow to change. The improvements have modernized the patient experience and are helping practices free up time and resources to focus on their clients.

Photo: metamorworks, Getty Images

 

 

 



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